Education in Himachal Pradesh – An Introduction
Himachal – The abode of snow, which came into being on 25th January 1971, is the 18th state of the Republic of India. Himachal Pradesh is a tourist’s delight and attracts people from all parts of the globe. It is also a hub for adventure activities like Paragliding, rafting, boating, trekking, horse riding, skiing, fishing etc. As per 2011 census the population of Himachal Pradesh was 6.86 million, of which the male population is 3.47 million and female population is 3.38 million. The literacy rate of Himachal Pradesh is 83.78%, of which the male literacy is 90.93% and female literacy is 76.6%. The sex ratio of Himachal Pradesh is 974 females per 1000 males, which is much above the national average of 940.
School Education in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has one of the best literacy rates nationally and this is the contribution of its education system. It is the first state where every child has to undergo elementary education. The Department of Education manages 10,613 primary schools, 2,278 upper primary schools, 841 secondary schools and 1,321 higher secondary schools. As per available statistics the enrolment of boys and girls at the elementary school level are nearly the same. The drop out ratio at the school level is nearly negligible except for the secondary levels. The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education which has 3318 schools under it, prescribes syllabi, course of instruction, textbooks for schools. It also conducts board exams for class 8, 10, 10+1 and 10+2. There are schools as well which are affiliated to either the I.C.S.E or the C.B.S.E. patterns. Himachal Pradesh has numerous schools of repute in the private sector which impart school education to desirous candidates. Himachal Pradesh is one
among the three states of India with the highest literacy rates, due to the state government’s compulsory elementary education policy.
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Higher Education in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has one central university, four state universities and sixteen private universities, besides 64 general colleges, 2 medical colleges, 1, homeopathic medical college, 10 engineering colleges, pharmacy, dental, nursing, management and a host of other colleges and research institutions. Himachal Pradesh government is also very keen to develop the state into an education hub. Though it has been a late starter in establishing engineering institutes as compared to other states but is making great progress in the direction. People of Himachal Pradesh nurture the desire to make this state a Switzerland as both share the same topography, however Himachal Pradesh lacks Swiss industrial acumen and resources to match the same. The technical institutions help in fulfilling the requirement of skilled manpower of the industries which have of late have rapidly sprung up in the various parts of the state due to its liberal policies and tax benefits. Many renowned brand names have
their manufacturing plants located in Himachal Pradesh. Baddi is slowly acquiring the status of the pharmaceutical manufacturing hub of the nation. At the current rate of industrialization students with the requisite skill set will find due employment in the state itself. The future of higher education in Himachal Pradesh is definitely very promising.
Education in Himachal Pradesh – Future
The future of education in Himachal Pradesh is promising as reflected from the literacy rates and the resolve of the state government. The rapid industrialization is also a catalyst in improving the same. Industrial houses and private sector players are also investing in setting up educational institutions in the state which will definitely benefit the citizens of the state.